You are something
of a rock legend. Now, you’ve had a bunch of recording deals, you’ve been with Warner,
you’ve been with Interscope, and your music’s been on loads of soundtracks as well. Yeah, in terms of soundtracks, I was in “What
happens in Vegas”, as the end credit song there, Mystery Men was in that soundtrack
Clubland. I was in the hammer I did a version of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of fire” in that
film. A number of TV programs and things like that over the years. Yeah. And I’ve put out three albums of my own
and, yeah. You’ve have had heaps of major record deals. Oh yeah, heaps I don’t know. I’ve had technically,
I suppose there were actually 4 deals and there were three records came out. Initially,
I was signed to Interscope. Interscope one of the largest labels in the world. Later
I had a deal with Universal briefly that I got sort of dropped from Universal. But
then was resigned to Warner Brothers subsidiary for 1 record, and then more recently an Independent Label. Right, so I mean there’s a kind of success
that a lot of musicians could only dream of. But that’s for you hasn’t been a rosy story? No, you know I mean, it was great for a second.
It looked like I was set to be the next big thing and I did, I had a great experience,
I got paid quite well from the initial record deal and publishing deal. So you know, how much are we talking, what
kind of record deal are we talking? It was in the ballpark of 2.2 million. Right, okay. So a lot of musicians would call
that success if they got to that. No, I know. On the financial level it was
successful, you know. The disappointing part was that when the record actually came out,
you know, all the promises to the sort of, stick with you through thick and thin that
every label is going to make, you know, they didn’t really happen, the record didn’t sell
enough copies and I was dropped from the deal. Right. That must have been really disheartening? Yeah, you know, no fun, no conversations,
no let’s work on some new demos. Just literally a phone call from the lawyer saying, you know
it’s over, and you’re back at square one. And so what happened when he got back to square
one? As I mentioned, I kept at it, you know, I
got back on the horse and got multiple new deals and kept trying to get deals. But the
truth was that after, you know, each deal it just kind of kept getting worse, it got
harder and harder because the deals got smaller and smaller as did the labels. And each time
I just wasn’t selling enough copies and it was starting to, you know, look grim. Right, then what action did you take? I had started exploring other ways to make
money because the writing was on the wall and if, you know, the bank account didn’t
turn around I was going to need to get a job. Oh wow, stop, stop. I did not want to do that nor did I have skills to do so. Oh, you don’t have the haircut for a job really. That was my argument. But yeah. So one day
I’m sitting there on the computer and I’ve been, I’ve been wondering about this whole
make money online thing that everybody sees everywhere, and that seemed perfect. I didn’t… I could be autonomous. And one night I sprang for a course I spend, I think, $200
on a course that promised to make me millions of dollars, little to no effort while I was
sleeping. So I, yeah, I buy the course, I sit up all night, I spent I think $10 on advertising,
it was a paid advertising based strategy, so I get kind of quick results. And low and
behold I woke up and I sold a $20 e-book and I was hooked. I was convinced that where I
can make, you know, one $20 e-book or whatever, the product might be, there was more money
to be made. So you spent $10 and you made $20. Yes. Cool, double your money, I like it. I did and it was, you know, inspiring. You
have this cynicism about these things, they’re all scams, it’s all rubbish, and for it to
actually work was kind of inspiring. And again it gave me hope that there were other avenues
out there for me, that didn’t involve getting a day job. So you still don’t have a day job? I still don’t have a day job. Brilliant, so you obviously took some more
action after that? I did yeah. So pursuing the song, like I said
I got the bug, and I spent the next, probably about a year, before things really came to
ahead. You know, it wasn’t easy, I had a lot of failures that first sale was not followed
by millions of sales with little to no effort. But after about a year I had sort of cracked
the code so to speak on what it means to run a successful online business. And I built
an e-commerce business that sold, I don’t know, it’s over two million dollars to this,
at this point. I’m not exactly sure where it’s at right now, but over two million dollars
in sales. And that was just the first initial business. Like I said, nothing to do with
music just yet, it was just trying to get finances in order. Okay, well done you obviously did that. And
then so once you’ve taken that learning and that concept, then what happened after that? So as you do, you know, particularly when
you’re working online, you’re always looking for new angles, new projects, and it only
kind of made sense, as I say still making music, and I thought maybe you know what if
some of this stuff I’m learning about marketing could be used to sell music? And I would use
myself as a guinea pig and run little promotions and tests and, you know, low and behold, that
was I’ve sold records you know. I could send out an email and wake up and there’d
be $300 in album sales in my inbox. And that was something that in all of my time, whether
on the labels or, you know, prior to that as an independent artists I had never been
able to do. Other than playing a show and standing there at the merch table I did not
know, and I don’t know anyone who did. I did not know any action that I could take that
resulted in sales. And so you feel very vulnerable, you need a manager, you need a lawyer, you
need a record label. And for the first time, I didn’t, and it was really, really exciting. That must have been so empowering. Yeah, it was. That’s a fantastic kind of success story of
just literally getting out there and doing it. Yeah, thanks. God, I love this guy. So listen what do you
think is the, you know, what’s the ingredient, what is it about you that could make a two-million-dollar
business out of thin air? What is it about me? I don’t know, I think
the, you know, there’s a couple of different ingredients. One is just the willingness to
stick at it and work of course but another I suppose, on a more strategic level, realizing
how kind of the world works and how human beings work and how there’s really a simple
process behind most of success, at least with business it’s finding a market and creating
something that that market wants and then figuring out where that market is, and getting
your message in front of them, and really focusing on sales. At least that’s been my
approach, as opposed to again what as a musician, I think I did most of my career, which is
just coming up with a great idea and waiting for the world to find it, you know. There
are sales is a process as long as you do have a good product and you take care of people,
you know, I think good customer support especially online is a big part of it. And it really
isn’t that difficult. Yeah. It sounds I remember you saying just
a little earlier, I obsessed about direct marketing, and that was a term you used. You
know, is there something about being, just digging in, is it, is there some personal
attribute that people need? Well I heard Gary Vaynerchuk, he’s a business
author and I’m a big fan of what he’s all about, but he in his book “Crush it” I
think it was and I’m definitely paraphrasing here, but it talked about having the entrepreneurial
spirit in your DNA, and some people have it and some people don’t but I think there may be
something to that. Some people get extremely, the spark goes off, they get obsessed and
won’t let up until they’ve accomplished what they are out to accomplish. Well, I think that’s great advice for all of us, don’t let up and to leave accomplish what you set out do. It helps if you have a roadmap along the way, you know, you’ll get there far more often if you do Yeah, brilliant. John, thank you so much for
joining us. Absolutely, thank you for having me.